Martindales 24th Edition and Denstons  Pharmacognosy
Compiled and Edited By Ivor  Hughes.

Valerian (B.P.C.). Valerian Rhizome; Valerian Root.
0.3 to 1 g. (5 to 15 grains).
The dried rhizome and roots of
Valeriana officinalis (Valerianacere), containing not less than 18% of alcohol (60%) -soluble  extractive.

Foreign Pharmacopoeias: In Belg., Chil., Cz., Dan.,  Egyp., Fr., Ger., Hung., Jap., Jug., Nor., Pol., Span., and Swiss  (from V. officinalis); in !nd. (from V. officinalis and  V. wallichii); in Swt!d. (from V. officinalis, V. salina,  and V. sambucifolia).

The B.P.C. 1949 also included Indian Valerian, the  dried rhizome and roots of V. wallichii..  

Valerian contains an odourless crystalline principle (methyl 2-pyrrolyl  ketone), a volatile alkaloid, and about 1% of volatile oil.
from  air, light, and moisture.
Note. The odour of valerian may be removed from  a scale pan or from the hands by rubbing with sodium bicarbonate.
Valerian depresses the central nervous system; this action is  probably due to the odourless crystalline principle. It is used as an extract,  infusion, or tincture, often in conjunction with bromides, chloral hydrate,  and phenobarbitone, in the treatment of hysteria and other nervous conditions. It is also used as a carminative.

Elix. Valerian. et Chloral. Co. (B.P.C. 1949, N.F. 1952)
Compound Elixir of Valerian and Chloral; Compound Elixir of. Valerian;  Compound Elixir of Bromide and Valerian.
Liquid extract of valerian 15 m., potassium bromide 7 1/2. gr., chloral  hydrate 7 1/2 gr., liquid extract of liquorice 10 m., compound spirit of orange  24 m., syrup 120 m., water to 1 fl. oz.
Dose:15 to 30 ml. (11. to 1 fl. oz.)

Extract of Valerian (B.P.C.). Ext. Valerian.
A soft alcoholic extract. Protect from air and moisture in a cool place.  Dose: 60 to 300 mg. (1 to 5 grains).
Liquid Extract of Valerian (
B.P.C.). Ext. Valerian. Liq. 1 in 1;  prepared by percolation with alcohol (60%).
Dose: 0.3 to 1 ml. (5 to 15 minims}.

Concentrated Infusion of Valerian (

Inf. Valerian. Conc. 1 in 5; prepared by percolation with alcohol (25%}
Dose:2 to 4ml. (30 to 60 minims}
Infusion of Valerian is prepared by diluting 1 vol. of the concentrated  infusion to 8 vol. with water.

Inf. Valerian. Rec. (B.P.C. 1949}
Fresh Infusion of Valerian.

Valerian, bruised, 2.5 g. and boiling water 100 g., infused in a covered  vessel for 15 minutes and strained.
Dose:15 to 30 mI. (� . to 1 fl. oz.}

Mixture of Potassium Bromide and Valerian
Mist; Pot. Brom. el Valerian.

Potassium bromide 10 gr., ammonium bicarbonate 211. gr., concentrated  infusion of valerian 30 m., chloroform water to 11. 6. oz.
Dose: 15 to 30 ml. (11. to 1 6. oz.}.

PRECIPITATE. A slight deposit was observed in certain samples, the amount  depending on the batch of concentrated infusion of valerian used. Replacing the  concentrated infusion by an equivalent amount of the liquid extract produced  mixtures with a very slight deposit or none at all.-Pharm. Soc. Lab. Rep.,  Pharm. J., i11956, 383.

Ammoniated Tincture of Valerian (
Tinct. Valerian. Ammon.

About 1 in 5; prepared by maceration with alcohol (60%), nutmeg oil, lemon  oil, and dilute solution of ammonia.
Dose:2 to 4 ml. (30 to 60 minims}.

Tinct. Valerlan. Ammon. Conc. (B.P. 1932}.
Concentrated Ammoniated Tincture of Valerian.

Valerian or Indian valerian 800 g. is exhausted by percolation with alcohol  (60 %) the alcohol is removed from the percolate by distillation under reduced  pressure and the residue evaporated to a soft extract at a temperature not  exceeding 60�; the soft extract is dissolved in about 800 ml. of alcohol (60%} and the solution filtered; nutmeg oil 12 ml., lemon oil 8 ml., and strong  solution of ammonia 133 ml. are then added, and the tincture diluted to 1000 ml.  with alcohol (60 %)
Dose: 0.5 to 1 ml. (8 to 15 minims}.

Concentrated ammoniated tincture of valerian is about 4 times as strong as ammoniated tincture of valerian.

Tinct. Valerlan. Simp. (
B.P.C. 1949).
Simple Tincture of Valerian;

Tincture of Valerian. 1 in 8; prepared by maceration with alcohol (60  %)
Dose: 4 to 8 ml. (60 to 120 minims}

Many foreign pharmacopoeias include a 1 in 5 tincture; Jap. P. 1 in  10.

Denstons Text Book of pharmacognosy

: Valerian Rhizome; Valerian Root. 

Botanical Source
The rhizome and roots of
Valeriana officinalis Linn., collected in the  autumn and dried.

Fam. : Valerianacere.

Geographical Source
Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Northern France. 

Plant Habit

An erect herbaceous perennial, from I to 1.5 metres in height,  with decussately arranged leaves, the upper ones being widely spaced. The leaves  are imparipinnate with lanceolate leaflets about 5 cm. long.

Two varieties are distinguished differing in their habitat and  the shape of the leaves.
V. officinalia var. sambucifolia Mikan, has fewer broader leaflets usually toothed on both margins, and  V. officinalia var. Mikanii Syme, has more numerous  leaflets (six or more pairs) usually without serrations on the anterior margin. 

The inflorescence consists of small white or pinkish flowers in  terminal panicles. The fruits are small, dry, and one-seeded with a pappus at  the apex, developed from the calyx.

British cultivators prefer the latter variety because it yields a more robust  root with a larger percentage of oleo-resin. The rhizomes and roots, often with  the stolons and offsets, are collected in the autumn, washed, and large  specimens sliced longitudinally. Drying should be effected as rapidly as  possible to check the development of the characteristic valerian odour, which is  not present in the living plant
(vide infra). The continental drug is  mainly from cultivated plants and constitutes the bulk of commercial supplies. 

VALERIAN (V. officinalis)

Longitudinally sliced rhizome with roots, x 1
(b) Transverse section of  root, X 6
(c) Transverse section of rhizome, X 3

c. = cortex

end. = endodermis

ep. = epidermis

k. = cork

p. = pith

ph. = phloem

rt. sc. = root scar

r.v.b. = vascular bundle to root

z,v = xylem vessels

Volatile Oil, 0.5-1.5 per cent, secreted in the sub-epidermal layers of the  rhizome and roots. The variation in quantity and composition is due to the  environment of the plant, especially humidity, and to the method of drying and  the age of the drug. It contains borneol and its formic, acetic and  isovalericesters. Free isovaleric acid is not pre-existent in the  plant, but is liberated by enzyme action, and gives the drug its characteristic  odour

The therapeutic action of the drug depends chiefly upon the natural  constituents of the volatile oil, and the only means of maintaining these  unaltered is by stabilization of the rhizome immediately after collection. Free  isovaleric acid is inert, and therefore specimens of the drug or its  preparations with a strong odour are inferior.

Japanese Valerian contains from 6 to 8 per cent of volatile oil, with a  considerable quantity of free isovaleric acid.

Resin, partly formed by resinification of the volatile  oil. English drug yields about 1.6 per cent, and Belgian about 1.3 per cent, of  oleo-resin.

Alkaloids, about 0.1 per cent, principally chatinine with  some valerine. Their physiological activity is doubtful.

Mucilage is also present.

An odourless crystalline principle, pyrryl methyl ketone has  been isolated from Valerian and it is claimed to depress the central nervous  system.

Standard. B.P C. requirements include not less than 18.0  per cent of alcohol (60 per cent)-soluble extractive (commercial samples may  yield up to 28 per cent), and not more than 10.0 per cent of acid-insoluble ash  (samples which have been inadequately washed may exceed this figure).